The network

The EUROCITIES Network of Local Authority Observatories on Active Inclusion (EUROCITIES–NLAO) investigates local strategies to promote the active inclusion of people furthest from the labour market, putting particular emphasis on the role of quality social services. In 2010 the EUROCITIES-NLAO research was centred on the topics of quality of social services of general interest in cities and the role of social economy initiatives. For the first half of 2011 the research activities will focus on the theme of active inclusion of youth.

The nine observatories - Birmingham, Bologna, Brno, Copenhagen, Cracow, Lille-Roubaix, Rotterdam, Sofia and Stockholm - are coordinated by EUROCITIES, the network of major cities in Europe, and supported through Inclusive Cities for Europe, a partnership between the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) and EUROCITIES.

Cities are key actors in the delivery of social services such as child care, social assistance services and health care. Through their responsibilities as policy-makers and service providers, they are involved in the whole cycle of service provision, from procurement and commissioning to delivery and evaluation. This engagement means that they are in the best position to evaluate what works and what does not.

EUROCITIES-NLAO will engage with national and European stakeholders and policy-makers, identifying trends, good practices as well as challenges experienced on the ground. Moreover, the Local Authority Observatories will provide regular input to the activities of the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum. The main ambition of EUROCITIES-NLAO is to inspire future policy developments on Active Inclusion at the EU, national and city levels.

 EUROCITIES-NLAO has three main objectives:

 • Informing, disseminating and awareness raising: each LAO will act as a national information hub, raising awareness on the EU Active Inclusion strategy. National newsletters will be published every three months and a central website with national portals will be regularly updated.

 • Research and policy analysis: the LAOs will identify good practices, challenges and recommendations on the provision of quality services for the Active Inclusion of the most disadvantaged people, feeding into EU policy developments on this theme.

City reports on local active inclusion strategies will be produced, outlining local practices and challenges for municipalities. EUROCITIES will summarise them in an analytical report outlining the main trends for cities in implementing on the ground active inclusion strategies.

 • Implementing and promoting mutual learning: a wide range of activities will be organised by the LAOs and EUROCITIES to promote mutual learning and raise awareness of the EU Active Inclusion strategy. Each city will organise a national event, presenting the main research findings and promoting the exchange of knowledge between national stakeholders. EUROCITIES will engage with key European stakeholders to present the EUROCITIES-NLAO research findings and conclusions.

For more information on the activities of the Local Authority Observatory Birmingham please contact Unjum Hussain

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T: +44 121 675 6333